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No Angel (Spoils of Time Trilogy) [Paperback]

Penny Vincenzi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 May 2001 Spoils of Time Trilogy
Can wrong ever become right? Does the end justify the means? For Celia Lytton, there are no easy answers to these questions. Strong-willed, tough, and courageous, she moves through life making difficult and often dangerous decisions both for herself and for others, with the most far reaching consequences for everyone . . . For her husband, Oliver, head of the great family publishing house of Lyttons; for Sylvia Miller, whose life of relentless poverty is transformed by Celia's intrusion; for Oliver's daunting elder sister, who is not all she appears to be; and for author Sebastian Brooke, for whom Celia makes the most dangerous decision of all.

Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (14 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752843109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752843100
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 585,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Penny Vincenzi is one of the UK's best-loved and most popular authors. Since her first novel, Old Sins, was published in 1989, she has written fourteen bestselling novels, most recently The Best of Times and the number one bestseller An Absolute Scandal.
Her first 'proper' job was at the Harrods Library, aged sixteen, after which she went to secretarial college. She joined the Mirror and later became a journalist, writing for The Times, the Daily Mail and Cosmopolitan amongst many others, before turning to fiction. Several years later, over seven million copies of Penny's books have been sold worldwide and she is universally held to be the 'doyenne of the modern blockbuster' (Glamour).
Penny has four daughters and divides her time between London and Gower, South Wales.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Penny Vincenzi's No Angel is probably her most accomplished novel yet, and draws on many elements of the author's own life in journalism and publishing. Since inaugurating her writing career with Old Sins, Vincenzi has developed into one of the most stylish and compelling writers of blockbusting fiction with such novels as Another Woman, Forbidden Places, and Almost a Crime achieving phenomenal sales and a devoted readership that follows her work very closely.

Set in Lyttons, a great publishing house, this saga takes us into the lives of the family who owns it, and the dramas of crossed loyalties, ambition and deception inform a narrative that carries the reader along with great gusto. Vincenzi's canvas at the start of the book is the Edwardian era known as the Belle Époque, a time in which society contrasted hedonistic luxury and great social deprivation, with the First World War waiting in the wings to sweep so much away.

Celia Lytton is the firm-minded and ambitious wife of Oliver Lytton, the head of the publishing house that bears his name. Sylvia Miller, coming from a background of crushing poverty, is threatened by Celia's intrusion into her life, when Sylvia's youngest daughter is taken from the family to join the Lyttons and move in a different social circle. Sebastian Brooke, the author of a much-acclaimed children's book, finds himself both professionally and personally involved with the ambitious Celia.

This is the first volume in a series, The Spoils of Time, and Vincenzi sets out her stall impressively. We are very quickly involved in the larger-than-life experiences of these powerfully drawn characters, and as well as telling a thoroughly involving tale, the author is able to deal with some serious questions over good and evil. Most of all, it is her charismatic characters (such as the willful Celia) that make a lasting impression on the reader and the author's ability to keep the reader engrossed:

Celia had been right, Oliver was initially resistant to the risks of making love to her; but a mixture of emotional blackmail and a determined onslaught on his senses worked quite quickly. They found a physical delight in each other almost at once; Oliver was not exactly experienced, indeed his own knowledge had been gained at the hands of a couple of chorus girls introduced by his best friend at Oxford, but it was sufficient to guide him through Celia's initiation.
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Packed with passion, pain, pace and palaver (Daily Mail)

I was hooked right from the first page to the final, fantastic twist (New Woman)

Highly addictive (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Classic 25 Jun 2002
By Heather Negahdar VINE VOICE
This is the first volume of a series.
Set in the publishing house of the Lyttons. named after the Lytton family, Ms. Vincenzi's new classic takes us into the lives of the Lytton, the Beckenham and the Miller families just before World War II. Celia Lytton is the main character who takes over the helm of the family business as the country goes to war. A strong-willed woman, Celia displays her good business acumen and makes Lyttons a successful and competitive establishment. As the family men leave England to fight in the war, there are butterflies in the womens' stomachs each time as they worry if and whether they would ever see their loved ones again. There are powerful women in this book who take their responsibility, virtually heading their households, dispersing their children from London up to country homes away from the bombs, and establishing temporary shelters for the the wounded men who return from the war in despair, and some total incapacitated.
As the novel weaves it's intoxicating magic, you will meet Oliver Lytton, Celia's kind husband who becomes a tiresome and tempermental soul much to Celia's agitation, causing her to look elsewhere for love. You'll also meet Margaret Lytton, Oliver's sister who helps Celia manage the publishing house. Then of course there are Celia's twin daughters, Adele and Venetia; two playfully wicked girls; silent Giles and her adopted daughter Barty Miller. With exciting authors at the publishing house, especially one particular one who makes a marked impact on Celia Lytton's life, this plot twists and turns with the reader never knowing what will take place on the following page. A remarkable classic read which has me now waiting in limbo for the this story has by no means finished....just merely paused...
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was hooked from the first page! 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This is my first experience reading a Penny Vincenzi novel and it won't be my last! I picked NO ANGEL up in a book store in Ireland while on vacation.The characters are fascinating and the sub plots are juicy! This book held my interest until the end . Its a great love story. I'm sorry Penny Vincenzi's books are not readly available in the USA.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Angel (The Spoils of Time) 19 July 2004
Format:Audio Cassette
This is only the second Penny Vincenzi novel that I have read, and both have been amazing! "No Angel", is a well-written, beautiful novel which keeps the reader guessing to the very last minute. The action is set both in London and New York, and follows the adventures of the Lytton family, beginning in the social obsessed 1900's, and moving into the exciting 20's via the first World War. There are a few characters in the book that I would have liked to have been developed a bit more, particularly the enigmatic Jack Lytton and the shy Kyle Brewer. Lady Celia is a very worthy heroine, and despite her flaws, it is impossible not to support her in her sometimes questionnable decisions. The strongest point of the book is without doubt the first World War, as seeing the war from a woman's perspective is very unusual. I was very pleased to hear that this book will be continued, and cannot wait for the story to be continued. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, as Vincenzi is one of the best story tellers I have ever had the pleasure to read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I had never read a Penny Vincenzi book before and bought this for myself as a Christmas treat. And what a treat it has been, a thoroughly magical book with enough characters and twisting plot to keep you on the edge of your seat. I was amazed by how drawn I was into the the lives and loves of the Lyttons and the Beckenhams and I just did not want this book to end. Penny Vincenzi is clearly one of the best character writers out there, she has brought forth pure magic with this title, I too cannot wait for the next in the series!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who wants to be an angel? 15 Jan 2007
By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Indeed Celia is no angel - but she is a credible woman and hugely likeable despite/because of her compulsions. Before her time she might be, as is her Mother, but Vincenzi is convincing in her portrayal of a woman bursting and determined to escape the confines of the society into which she has been born. The reader can feel Celia's emotion and the torment she feels as a result of her own actions and partly as a reaction to the torture felt by Oliver on his return from war. If it is possible to love two men at the same time Vincenzi makes us feel that Celia can. This is a page-turner which keeps you on the edge and she slides effortlessly from one sub-plot to another and teases with the chapter endings which make you feel a conclusion is coming to a situation - only to find that the final sentence had applied to a different sub-plot. She misleads the reader endlessly, leaves you feeling a resolution, only to change the agenda - and how brilliantly she crafts this. I could almost sense her pleasure in doing this. Her research is magnificent and she transports you easily into Edwardian drawing rooms, tenements of poverty and injustice and the battlefields of suffering and wasted lives. Vincenzi takes your imagination and wrings it inside out. You barely have to make an effort to picture the period; she gives it to you with her vivid prose and ownership of the age. The dual morality of the time becomes a fundamental part of the novel and Celia tries to cross this. Vincenzi seems to me to be a 20th century mix of Henry James and Wilkie Collins with a touch of D.H.Lawrence's working class women thrown in in the character of Sylvia. Her style is different, her plots as complex, her message as clear and her use of language as clever in its description. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book. really enjoyed it.
Family saga and storyline followed all members of the immediate family. Would thoroughly recommend. If you have enjoyed Penny Vincenzi other novels am sure you will be unable to... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Joan knipe
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 6 days ago by old hand
4.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!
This is a great family saga with the added interest of the goings on in the family firm. The characters, the setting and the historical background are brilliantly drawn. Read more
Published 6 days ago by M. Scourfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one...
Think I have missed a book in the series..or this one I have read before....and its been I knew the story line...far too familiar than for it to be chance. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Smokies Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping a and very difficult to put down
A little too much of jumping from one subject to another, but all together very enjoyable. Highly recommend to all my friends.
Published 11 days ago by Wanda de Lury
5.0 out of 5 stars No Angel.
Lyttons publishing house has a very good reputation and the Lytton family are well known in society, so when Lady Celia begins an affair with an author things become difficult to... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Gerry Smith
As all Penny Vincenti's stories well researched and very involved -somewhat predictable in parts - about selfish well heeled people but with some insight into how circumstances... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars People tripping over each story
the stories all revolve around a publishing house. a very fast pace lifestyle of lies and truths that can be equally fascinating. well written and gripping.
Published 24 days ago by carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
Penny Vincenzi on top form yet again with this engrossing book. Great story, true to life characters and full of twists and turns that we have grown to both anticipate and love... Read more
Published 1 month ago by gilly cox
5.0 out of 5 stars No Angel
I loved this book and the sequel. Publishing is clearly a fascinating occupation and I enjoyed all the family history
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Elizabeth M Durrant
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